Hochul Favorability & Job Approval Ratings Each Drop by 8 Points; Voters Say Hochul is Honest, Hard Working & Not Corrupt; But Plurality Says She’s Out of Touch with Average New Yorkers

  • Top Issues Voters Want Albany to Address Remain the Same: Cost of Living in NY, Recent Influx of Migrants, Crime and Housing
  • Biden Leads Trump by 12 Points in Head-to-Head & by 10 Points with RFK & West; Biden v. Trump v. ‘Someone Else’ – Someone Else 41, Biden 28, Trump 28

Press Release     Crosstabs

Loudonville, NY. Governor Kathy Hochul’s favorability rating, 41-46%, down from 45-42% last month, and job approval rating, 48-47%, down from 52-43%, each fell by net eight points from January, according to a Siena College poll of registered New York State voters released today. A majority of voters say Hochul is hard working, and pluralities think she is honest and is not corrupt, while voters are closely divided on whether she is effective or a strong leader, and a plurality of voters she is out of touch with average New Yorkers.

Nearly half of voters, 49%, identify the cost of living in New York as one of their top two issues for the Governor and Legislature to address, 29% calling it the top issue. The recent influx of migrants, crime, and affordable housing are New Yorkers’ next three top issues.

President Biden leads former President Trump in a head-to-head match-up, 48-36%, up a little from 46-37% last month. If given their way, 41% of voters say they want the next president to be someone other than Biden or Trump, each of whom has the support of 28% of voters in that scenario.

“After recording her best favorability and job approval ratings in nearly a year last month, Hochul saw both fall by net eight points this month, with her favorability rating slipping back into negative territory, where it spent most of 2023,” Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said. “Whether it was her budget proposals, her efforts on issues of importance to voters, or perhaps the recent attention-grabbing special election in Queens and Nassau, both Hochul’s favorability and job approval ratings fell the most with downstate suburban voters and Democrats.

“Another potential factor affecting how voters see Hochul is that a majority, 56%, continue to say that the quality of life in New York is getting worse, compared to only 14% who think it’s getting better, and 25% who say it’s staying about the same,” Greenberg said. “More than two-thirds of Republicans and independents think the quality of life in New York is getting worse, as do a plurality, 42%, of Democrats.”

“The good news for the Governor is that a strong majority of voters – including a majority of independents and a small plurality of Republicans – think she is hard working, and 49% say she is not corrupt – although Republicans are closely divided. A plurality of all voters and a majority of Democrats also think Hochul is honest,” Greenberg said. “While Democrats think she is effective and strong leader, overall voters are closely divided.

“A plurality of voters, including a majority of Republicans and a plurality of independents, think Hochul is out of touch with average New Yorkers,” Greenberg said. “Even Democrats are closely divided.”

Cost of Living Remains Voters’ Top Issue for Albany to Address, Followed by Migrants, Crime, Housing

Top issue voters want Governor and Legislature to address: cost of living 29%, influx of migrants 23%, crime 15%, affordable housing 13%, access to health care 9%, and environment and New Yorkers leaving the state 4% each. Top two issues: cost of living 49%, migrants 39%, crime 33%, housing 29%, health 24%, and New Yorkers leaving and environment 10% each.

“New Yorkers were clear on the top issues they wanted the Governor and Legislature to address in September, and those are the same issues they want Albany to address today. The cost of living in the state, the recent influx of migrants to New York, crime, and the need for affordable housing were the top issues in the fall and remain the top issues today,” Greenberg said. “The top three issues for Democrats are cost of living, housing and migrants. For Republicans it’s migrants, cost of living and crime. Independents say cost of living, migrants and crime.”

Biden Holds Double-Digit Lead Over Trump in 2- or 4-Way Race; ‘Someone Else’ Beats Biden & Trump

“While Biden holds a 12-point lead over Trump in a head-to-head matchup, and leads by 10 points in a four-way race, it’s worth remembering just how ‘blue’ New York is. Democrats have a 27-point enrollment advantage over Republicans, Biden beat Trump by 23 points in 2020, and no Republican presidential candidate has carried the state since Ronald Reagan in 1984, 40 years ago,” Greenberg said.

“When asked their presidential preference among Biden, Trump and ‘someone else,’ a plurality of New Yorkers, including a large majority of independents, want someone other than Biden or Trump,” Greenberg said. “While 61% of Republicans stick with Trump and 29% want someone else, only 46% of Democrats want Biden, compared to 38% who want another choice. Pluralities of white, Black and Latino voters all want their next president to not be named Biden or Trump.”

Majority of Voters: Neither Trump Federal Conviction nor Biden Impeachment Would Change Their Vote

“If Trump were convicted of a federal crime, 54% of voters say it would make no difference in their vote, while 31% would be less likely to support him and 11% more likely. Similarly, 65% say a Biden impeachment would have no impact on their vote, compared to 19% who would be less likely and 11% more likely,” Greenberg said. “Majorities of Republicans and independents say neither would change their vote. A majority of Democrats say that about a Biden impeachment but only a plurality feels that way about a Trump conviction.”

Odds & Ends

  • The Supreme Court currently has a 44-45% favorability rating, up from 37-52% last May. Democrats still view the Court unfavorably, 37-56%, but up significantly from 27-65% in May. Independents are slightly favorable, 45-42%, up from 40-49%, and Republicans remain favorable, 59-25%.
  • A majority, 56%, thinks crime across the state has gotten worse in the last year, up from 48% last month. A plurality of voters, 48%, continues to think crime in their community has stayed about the same. Now, 58% of voters are very or somewhat concerned they will be a victim of crime, little changed from 59% last May.
  • Support for increasing military and economic aid for Ukraine rose a little to 51-36%, up from 50-40% last month, while voters remain divided on increasing Israeli aid, 44-43%, from 43-45% last month.
  • Nearly three-quarters of voters, 71%, think it’s very or somewhat likely that the U.S. will remain a democratic republic at the end of this decade, compared to 19% who think it’s not at all or not very likely, virtually unchanged from 71-18% in September. Democrats, 75% are most optimistic, followed by Republicans, 69%, and 64% of independents.
  • Only 7% think both Biden and Trump are physically and mentally fit to serve a four-year term, while 32% think neither is fit, and 35% say Trump is but Biden is not, and 23% say Biden is fit but not Trump.


This Siena College Poll was conducted February 12-14, 2024, among 806 NYS Registered Voters. Of the 806 respondents, 496 were contacted through a dual frame (landline and cell phone) mode and 310 respondents were drawn from a proprietary online panel (Lucid). Telephone calls were conducted in English and respondent sampling was initiated by asking for the youngest person in the household. Telephone sampling was conducted via a stratified dual frame probability sample of landline and cell phone telephone numbers weighted to reflect known population patterns. The landline telephone sample was obtained from ASDE and the cell phone sample was obtained from Dynata. Data from collection modes was statistically adjusted by age, party by region, race/ethnicity, education, and gender to ensure representativeness. It has an overall margin of error of +/- 4.2 percentage points including the design effects resulting from weighting. The Siena College Research Institute, directed by Donald Levy, Ph.D., conducts political, economic, social, and cultural research primarily in NYS. SCRI, an independent, non-partisan research institute, subscribes to the American Association of Public Opinion Research Code of Professional Ethics and Practices. For more information, call Steve Greenberg at (518) 469-9858. For survey crosstabs: www.Siena.edu/SCRI/SNY.